Pokemon Go raises safety concerns

6 months 2 days 11 hours ago July 16, 2016 Jul 16, 2016 Saturday, July 16 2016 Saturday, July 16, 2016 3:58:00 PM CDT in News
By: Lauren Barnas, KOMU 8 Reporter
Embed Code Copied

COLUMBIA – The new Pokémon GO cell phone app is setting download records across the world and in mid-Missouri. With players constantly looking down at their phones, the game is raising questions about safety.

“We have a lot of trail systems that may have a trail crossing such as Stephens Lake Park,” Gabe Huffington, the park services manager for Columbia Parks and Recreation, said. “So as you're driving into the park, you know, the number one thing is we hope you're not on your phone and driving. 

He said kids running around in parks heightens the concern for safety.

“With those trail crossings and sidewalk crossings and with the amount of kids we have in parks, be cognizant of what's going on around you,” Huffington said.

Jordan Singleton has been playing Pokémon GO since its release on July 6. He said the app’s design takes those safety concerns into account.

"This games has maps,” Singleton said. “It shows you where roads are that you probably shouldn't be crossing. So whenever you play, your character has a circle that pings and it's a good circle that radiates 10 to 15 feet to where you don't have to step in the road if there's one in the road, you can just kind of be near it."

Huffington said Columbia Parks and Recreation has seen an increase in the amount of people in parks after hours since the game’s release.

“Always be aware of park hours. Our parks close at 11 p.m. and open back up at 6 a.m. unless you're at Cosmo Park, it closes at midnight,” Huffington said. “So if you are in the park system and it's after 11 p.m., whether it's our park rangers of the Columbia Police Department, or our private security team, they may come up to you and ask you to leave the park."

Players say it’s tempting to look for Pokémon after park hours because there is a different set of characters at night, called ghost characters.

Despite safety concerns, Huffington said the app is a great way to get the community moving. When players download the game, it tells them where to go to find Pokémon. Players say although you can drive to find Pokémon, it’s much easier to catch them if you pick a spot and start walking.

Players say public areas like the mall, parks, and downtown Columbia are popular spots to find characters, but new Pokémon are dropped at different locations constantly.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA – Concerned community members gathered at Republican U.S. Representative Vicky Hartzler’s office Tuesday to protest a recent development in... More >>
3 hours ago January 17, 2017 Jan 17, 2017 Tuesday, January 17 2017 Tuesday, January 17, 2017 1:58:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA – Higher education institutions have concern over the impact of Governor Greitens' announced budget cuts that will largely decrease... More >>
3 hours ago January 17, 2017 Jan 17, 2017 Tuesday, January 17 2017 Tuesday, January 17, 2017 1:41:00 PM CST in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY - Rep. Kip Kendrick, D-Columbia, filed two bills on Tuesday addressing the rise of student debt. The... More >>
3 hours ago January 17, 2017 Jan 17, 2017 Tuesday, January 17 2017 Tuesday, January 17, 2017 1:35:00 PM CST in News
CARTHAGE (AP) — Authorities say a 10-year-old girl has died in a southwest Missouri shooting that appears to be accidental.... More >>
5 hours ago January 17, 2017 Jan 17, 2017 Tuesday, January 17 2017 Tuesday, January 17, 2017 12:01:13 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — New Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens will outline his policies on jobs, ethics, public safety and education... More >>
6 hours ago January 17, 2017 Jan 17, 2017 Tuesday, January 17 2017 Tuesday, January 17, 2017 11:14:00 AM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis' fortunes may be looking up, thanks to a surprising surge in business startups. ... More >>
6 hours ago January 17, 2017 Jan 17, 2017 Tuesday, January 17 2017 Tuesday, January 17, 2017 11:03:00 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Prosecutors have filed charges against one of two men arrested following an assault at the Red Roof Inn... More >>
7 hours ago January 17, 2017 Jan 17, 2017 Tuesday, January 17 2017 Tuesday, January 17, 2017 10:25:00 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA - An MU associate teaching professor is presenting a petition to the Columbia City Council Tuesday evening on behalf... More >>
16 hours ago January 17, 2017 Jan 17, 2017 Tuesday, January 17 2017 Tuesday, January 17, 2017 1:34:00 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Almost 50 years after the death of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Columbia groups still... More >>
19 hours ago January 16, 2017 Jan 16, 2017 Monday, January 16 2017 Monday, January 16, 2017 10:08:00 PM CST in News
SUNRISE BEACH – Buying and selling personal property privately, such as furniture, clothes and cars, is commonplace in today’s world... More >>
20 hours ago January 16, 2017 Jan 16, 2017 Monday, January 16 2017 Monday, January 16, 2017 9:18:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - After a budget resolution aimed at repealing Obamacare was reached Jan. 12, groups in Missouri plan to protest... More >>
1 day ago January 16, 2017 Jan 16, 2017 Monday, January 16 2017 Monday, January 16, 2017 2:50:00 PM CST in News
CALIFORNIA (AP) - Central Missouri Democrats nominated an attorney who formerly worked for the Missouri Senate to run in a... More >>
1 day ago January 16, 2017 Jan 16, 2017 Monday, January 16 2017 Monday, January 16, 2017 2:36:00 PM CST in News
HILLSBORO (AP) - The Missouri State Highway Patrol says a 28-year-old man died after a four-wheeler he was riding on... More >>
1 day ago January 16, 2017 Jan 16, 2017 Monday, January 16 2017 Monday, January 16, 2017 2:09:00 PM CST in News
NICKELVILLE (AP) - A southwest Missouri county highway is expected to be closed until Thursday as crews clean up an... More >>
1 day ago January 16, 2017 Jan 16, 2017 Monday, January 16 2017 Monday, January 16, 2017 2:02:00 PM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Police are investigating after a 34- year-old man was found dead outside a hospital in north... More >>
1 day ago January 16, 2017 Jan 16, 2017 Monday, January 16 2017 Monday, January 16, 2017 10:51:00 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Cafe Berlin reopened Monday for brunch, after being closed following a destructive break-in. The break-in on Saturday night... More >>
1 day ago January 16, 2017 Jan 16, 2017 Monday, January 16 2017 Monday, January 16, 2017 10:05:00 AM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) - St. Louis' fortunes may be looking up, thanks to a surprising surge in business startups. ... More >>
1 day ago January 16, 2017 Jan 16, 2017 Monday, January 16 2017 Monday, January 16, 2017 9:41:00 AM CST in News
COOPER COUNTY - Just before 5 a.m. Monday morning, the Cooper County Fire Protection District responded to a structure fire... More >>
1 day ago January 16, 2017 Jan 16, 2017 Monday, January 16 2017 Monday, January 16, 2017 8:29:00 AM CST in Top Stories
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 38°
6pm 39°
7pm 38°
8pm 36°
9pm 35°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

5:30p
NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt
6:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 6
6:30p
Wheel of Fortune
5:30p
American Dad!
6:00p
Family Guy
6:30p
Family Guy

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Wall
8:00p
This Is Us
9:00p
Chicago Fire
7:00p
The Flash
8:00p
No Tomorrow
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld